Chief of JCB demands that net zero ban on cars be reconsidered

After Brussels loosened restrictions across Europe, Britain needs to rethink its net ban on new petrol or diesel cars, the Chairman of JCB stated.

Lord Bamford insisted that the “internal combustion engine certainly has future”, comments that will increase pressure on Rishi Sunak for a 2030 crackdown against non-electric vehicles.

This comes after Brussels agreed last week to relax’s zero-emissions vehicle mandate and allow internal combustion engines to be sold as long as they use carbon-neutral petrol alternatives, known as efuels.

This move led some people in Whitehall a consider exploring efuel exemption. However, Grant Shapps, Energy Secretary, and the Prime Minister stood by their plans when they presented further green measures last week.

JCB is currently developing hydrogen-powered diggers that will replace its older models. In 2020, 75,000 machines were sold by the business.

Lord Bamford was a Tory major donor and one the country’s most successful businessmen. He stated: “The internal combustion engine plays a role in a zero carbon future.

“Governments all over the globe must be technology neutral in order to legislate to achieve net zero targets.

“Fossil fuels, not the engine themselves, are the problem.” JCB has developed engines that run on hydrogen gas. This fuel is zero carbon dioxide and provides the same power and performance as diesel engines.

In 2030, Britain will ban all non-hybrid petrol or diesel cars. In 2035, hybrids will be banned in Britain. New vehicles can only be made if they run on pure electric or another zero-emission fuel like hydrogen.

From 2035, petrol and diesel cars will be banned from the Continent. After intensive lobbying by German carmakers, an agreement was reached that allows vehicles to run on efuels. These e-fuels will be made of carbon sucked from the air and hydrogen generated using renewable energy. They will emit no new CO2.

Lord Bamford stated that if e-fuels could be made to work in a car in a carbon neutral manner, then the internal combustion engine has a bright future. When the root problem is the use of fossil fuels in the fuel tank, governments should not outlaw engines.

“Let’s be open-minded about all the possibilities; battery electric technology is not the only solution.”

E-fuels may also be a source of support for smaller, niche UK racing car manufacturers.

Morgan and Lister, who make racing cars, may adopt the fuels along with McLaren and Aston Martin.

Lawrence Whittaker is the chief executive at Lister. He stated that smaller companies are more likely to be overwhelmed by the costs of creating electric drivetrains and combustion engines in tandem since most markets won’t ban petrol cars for a long time.

India will not ban combustion engines until 2040, so car companies will have to make both electric and combustion cars in order to compete on the global market.

Mr. Whittaker stated that he didn’t believe the government considers how car makers are forced to make dual-fuel cars, and what effect this has on profitability.

“I agree with 100 percent that the UK should allow vehicles to be sold that use synthetic or neutral e-fuels.”

Morgan Motor Company, the designer of the Plus Four roadster sportscar, is also looking into the benefits of the fuel, if BMW is interested.

Toby Blythe of Morgan said that if an e-fuel powertrain was made available via our long-term supplier, it would be a good fit for our product and we would definitely consider it.”

Investindustrial, an Italian investment company, controls the company. Investindustrial was previously Aston Martin’s owner.

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